Do you Speak French?

December 15, 2008

My roommate stopped me in the hallway today to ask if I spoke French.

Um, that would be a no.

She wasn’t convinced. Apparently the other night while I was asleep, I was rattling off in some foreign language to her.

“It rolled very nicely.”

Who knows? Maybe I do speak French.


Little Boys and Christmas Carols

December 15, 2008

There were three of them. Three rambunctious little boys and their slightly hassled mother.

I watched them out of the corner of my eye during Denison’s Christmas service. I grinned as they pretended to shoot each other with make-believe pistols during the Latin song, as they hissed loud questions at their mother in the middle of Luke chapter two, and as they wriggled in their pew.

The service itself was beautiful. I can’t help but love candles and poinsettias, and old hymns that remind me of the wonder of God’s love in humbling Himself, and coming to earth as my Savior.

I also couldn’t help but love the little tousle-headed boys as they moved up next to me to light their candles for the last songs. They were burning their fingers with wax, lighting things on fire, and pretending to spit over the edge of the balcony. All very amusing. That is, amusing until the service was over, and full of happy thoughts about Bethlehem, I turned around and discovered that the littlest of the crew had dripped great splashes of wax on my coat.  Ha.

And then I smiled, because Jesus came as a little boy, and He came for me. God Himself. The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth! Amazing, isn’t it?

Now, Mom… about that coat… how do I get wax out of fabric?

Christmas Party

December 8, 2008

Also this past weekend, those of us on the fourth floor had a Christmas celebration, organized by my roommate, Holly. We strung up lights, put red and green paper chains across the hallway, and cut out snowflakes for our doors. Then we invited over a bunch of friends.

Our room was designated as the Gingerbread House site, and we put together over fifteen houses with graham crackers, icing, and candy. Another room hosted Christmas crafts, and down the hall they organized a game of Apples to Apples. My friend, Liz, put a record player out in the hallway, and played some old Christmas albums. It was quite the party. Merry Christmas from the fourth floor of Curtis West!

Rugby Formal

December 8, 2008

This weekend was rugby formal… wild and crazy! The girls wear dresses with their socks and cleats, while the guys wear shirts, ties, and jackets with their rugby shorts, socks, and cleats. My friend Brynn straightened my hair and loaned me a dress for the evening.

Break in Columbus

December 8, 2008

My friends, the Dixons, had me over to their house in Columbus for a night, and took me to the zoo! WOW! It was pretty exciting to see manatees, but the snakes certainly gave me the willies. The zoo was all decked out in lights, and had a music show coordinated with them. It was a pretty special evening.

Jack and I raced on the carousel

Sam, Macie, and I posed with a hammerhead

Fluffy, the world's largest python. Shiver.

"Will Hug for Food."

Thanksgiving in Milwaukee

December 8, 2008

Only a couple weeks late…

I had a GREAT time with my sister! We ate at a bunch of tasty restaurants,  browsed the Milwaukee Public Library, got some great deals on used books, explored a Titanic Exhibit at the Public Museum, and hollered along with an energetic crowd at a Marquette Women’s Basketball Game. Plus we watched all 8.5 hours of Charles Dicken’s classic Bleak House, I learned how to ride a bus, and we had plenty of laughs.

I love my sister!

Thoughts on Grace

December 5, 2008

As my Grandpa Morrison has so kindly pointed out, I have sadly neglected this blog. I was hoping to have some pictures to put up from my Thanksgiving break, but that’ll have to wait a little bit.

In the meantime, I will say that I have been thinking and learning a lot about grace in the past few weeks. I have been so submersed in the concept of grace my whole life, that I don’t think I quite learned about what it really meant. I know I won’t ever fully understand grace- it’s astounding how much there is to it- but it is exciting to catch a glimpse of the implications of being fully, unconditionally loved.

Here are some points I’ve been pondering on grace by William R. Newell:

The Nature of Grace:

1. Grace is God acting freely, according to His own nature — as Love; with no promises or obligations to fulfill; and acting of course, righteously — in view of the cross.
2. Grace, therefore, is uncaused in the recipient: its cause lies wholly in the GIVER, in GOD.
3. Grace, also is sovereign. Not having debts to pay, or fulfilled conditions on man’s part to wait for, it can act toward whom, and how, it pleases. It can, and does, often, place the worst deservers in the highest favors.
4. Grace cannot act where there is either desert or ability: Grace does not help — it is absolute, it does all.
5. There being no cause in the creature why Grace should be shown, the creature must be brought off from trying to give cause to God for His Grace.
6. The discovery by the creature that he is truly the object of Divine grace, works the utmost humility: for the receiver of grace is brought to know his own absolute unworthiness, and his complete inability to attain worthiness: yet he finds himself blessed — on another principle, outside of himself!
7. Therefore, flesh has no place in the plan of Grace. This is the great reason why Grace is hated by the proud natural mind of man. But for this very reason, the true believer rejoices! For he knows that “in him, that is, in his flesh, is no good thing”; and yet he finds God glad to bless him, just as he is!

The Place of Man under Grace:

1. He has been accepted in Christ, who is his standing!
2. He is not “on probation.”
3. As to his life past, it does not exist before God: he died at the Cross, and Christ is his life.
4. Grace, once bestowed, is not withdrawn: for God knew all the human exigencies (needs) beforehand: His action was independent of them, not dependent upon them.
5. The failure of devotion does not cause the withdraw of bestowed grace (as it would under law). For example: the man in I Cor. 5.1-5; and also those in 11.30-32, who did not “judge” themselves, and so were “judged by the Lord, — that they might not be condemned with the world”!

The Proper Attitude of Man under Grace:

1. To believe, and to consent to be loved while unworthy, is the great secret.
2. To refuse to make “resolutions” and “vows”; for that, is to trust in the flesh.
3. To expect to be blessed, though realizing more and more lack of worth.
4. To testify of God’s goodness, at all times.
5. To be certain of God’s future favor; yet to be ever more tender in conscience toward Him.
6. To rely on God’s chastening hand as a mark of His kindness.
7. A man under grace, if like Paul, has no burden regarding himself; but many about others.

Things Which Gracious Souls Discover:

1. To “hope to be better” is to fail to see yourself in Christ only.
2. To be disappointed with yourself, is to have believed in yourself.
3. To be discouraged is unbelief, — as to God’s purpose and plan of blessing for you.
4. To be proud, is to be blind! For we have no standing before God, in ourselves.
5. The lack of Divine blessing, therefore, comes from unbelief, and not from failure of devotion.
6. Real devotion to God arises, not from man’s will to show it; but from the discovery that blessing has been received from God while we were yet unworthy and undevoted.
7. To preach devotion first, and blessing second, is to reverse God’s order, and preach law, not grace. The Law made man’s blessing depend on devotion; Grace confers undeserved, unconditional blessing: our devotion may follow, but does not always do so, — in proper measure.